Less than 3 weeks ago, the NCAA Independent Resolution Panel levied heavy penalties on both the LSU football and men’s basketball programs. The panel handed down Level 1-3 violations. The penalties include the vacation of 37 football wins from 2012-2016, a 3 year probation, and two bowl game forfeitures. The Level 1 violation relates to a crooked booster who paid over $ 180,000 to a football recruit’s family over the four years he played. What’s worse is the way the illegal payments were arranged. The booster allegedly embezzled over $ 500,000 from a hospital foundation that he served on.  These infractions occurred under the watch of former head coaches Les Miles and Ed Orgeron. Their coaching careers tanked since leaving Tiger Land.

Teflon Don of College Sports

Similarly, The NCAA cited former head basketball coach Will Wade with Level 1 recruiting related violations for a top player he signed out of Baton Rouge.  Wade was taped bragging to an aspiring agent. He claimed he made a “strong ass offer” to a player. The NCAA also collared Wade for paying a woman to keep quiet about these violations.  A  CBS Sports article   highlights Wade’s efforts “delayed full production of records and documents and knowingly provided false or misleading information regarding his knowledge of and/or involvement in possible violations of NCAA legislation”.  Nevertheless, Wade has landed on his feet as the new head coach at Mc Neese State.

Though these violations and penalties seem serious, the state’s “flagship” university just keeps on rolling along. The media fleetingly covered the stories for a day or two immediately after the NCAA panel announced their decisions.  Some media sources even minimized it as largely “self-imposed” penalties. They celebrate that no “lack of institutional control” penalty was levied, which typically involves being banned from post-season play.

The 2023 College Baseball World Series was well underway when the NCAA panel concluded their investigations of LSU’s many infractions over several years.  The media quickly shifted their attention back to LSU baseball. We only heard about their heavy jello-shot chugging, cult-like followers, who descended upon Omaha in droves. Fans reportedly toted their Louisiana open alcohol container habits with them. And they easily outnumbered the modest contingents from the other seven World Series contenders.

Teflon Don of College Sports

It seems that athletic success at LSU comes at almost any expense.  Nothing negative about the school sticks around very long, as long as there are new athletic events to libate over.  Where would Louisiana be if only a fraction of those energies were channeled into solving real problems facing the state?

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